The Babadook (2014) – Horror Film Review

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

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After Jessabelle and Grace the possession, I somehow lost my trust to watch horror film (that is produced by non-Asian production). Let’s admit it first, when it comes to scary, hair standing, cold chilly ghost tale, Asian did it best. My favorite horror movie came from Thailand, Japan and South Korea. Right after watching the babadook, I decided to review this film. I was so impressed with the acting of 2 main characters in this film. The way they portrayed each role is effortless but in the same time, it demands your attention. It revolved around the emotion of single mother that could not get over her husband’s death and how she was so incapable of raising her strange son but she managed to push through it. It moves slowly from one scene to other scene but you will understand why the director wanted it that way. Jennifer Kent, the writer/director for this film takes her film very seriously. What is exactly ‘The Babadook’? To be honest, I thought it was Australian horror legend as all Asian had and the culture of telling the story to others still going on until today. The most famous Malaysian Ghost story would be the formidable ‘Pontianak’. It can be described as a long-haired girl wearing all white, can fly, blood sucking creature and laughing hysterically in the middle of night. It may sound funny the way I described it but trust me, you don’t want to meet her in the middle of the night.

My Rating : 5/5
My Rating : 5/5

I was thinking that ‘The Babadook’ is like that: derived from tale and legend of Australia. It was not. The babadook came from a book. That’s just another reason that your kid can give you if she/he’s too lazy to read a book is there’s a ghost in it. Haha. The babadook came from the red book titled as ‘The Babadook’. No publication year, No publisher and not a single details of how this book can be found on your bookshelves. Amelia, the single mother, usually said good night to his son, Samuel by reading him a book. On that night, Samuel picked ‘The Babadook’ book from his own collection, asking his mother to read it. At first, it sounds like an ordinary children book. Amelia stopped in the middle of the book right after realizing that there is something wrong with the story.

If it’s in a word, or if it’s in a book
You can’t get rid of the Babadook.
He wears a hat, he’s tall and black
But that’s how they describe him in his book.
A rumbling sound, than three sharp knocks
You better run, or he’ll hold you in his locks.
ba-ba-ba-dook-dook-dook…
Your closet opens
And your honestly hoping’ that he won’t hear a sound
But that’s when you know that he’s around.
The book close
You have an itch under your nose
And that’s just how the story goes.
So close your eyes and count to ten
Better hope you don’t wake up again.
‘Cause if it’s in a word, or if it’s in a book
You can’t get rid of the Babadook
You’ll see him if you look

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Amelia hides the book from Samuel and told his son that it is not real. Samuel continued to disturb other kids with his weirdness, telling them the story about The Babadook. He was transferred to other school by Amelia due to the teacher’s complaint of his strange behavior. Amelia’s sister, Claire also couldn’t stand being around Samuel. Claire decided not to contact Amelia anymore when Samuel pushed her daughter and broke her nose. Amelia felt that something unnatural is following and stalking her family. She’s having no sleep at all due to the disturbance made by the Babadook. The Babadook came to her in the form of her late husband asking for her son. Amelia failed to see that The Babadook has successfully taken a strong hold on herself. Samuel always told her not to let it in but Amelia failed to the see the consequences of doing so. It was so bizarre to see how Samuel, the children is much stronger that her own mother. He fought his possessed mother with all his might and tied her in the basement. If I was Samuel, I would’ve died or being a very typical children who scream first and got killed right away. Samuel tried to call her mother, asking her to fight back but she was so weak. She strangled his son and at that one particular moment, Samuel touched her face as to assure her that it was okay to kill him. Suddenly, Amelia snapped from the trance of Babadook and vomited some kind of black liquid.

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I would spare my readers from the spoiler and not to write what’s the ending for this film. Please watch it yourself and be preparing to be surprised for the ending. It was not typical, that’s the least I could say. This film make me felt so satisfied that I don’t really mind to promote to others to watch it. A brilliant 5 stars, I give to the director, actors, writers and The Babadook itself.

Watch out:
1) When Babadook said his own name ‘Babadook, Dook, Dook, Dook’. That shit is freaking terrifying.

The-Babadook

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Oculus (2014) : Horror Film Review

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

My Rating; 3.5/5
My Rating; 3.5/5

“Oculus offered such a great plot with a twist of horror. It delivered a good scare and your heart beat will skip so many beats because of the surprise element in it. Unfortunately, the ending was mehhhhh. To conclude, Hollywood film loves to slaughter a good story with a very disappointing ending.”

Thats what i wrote in my facebook status right after i finished watching it. I felt the thrill, the excitement and the scare but i was dumbstruck by its ending. I mean come on guys!! Do you guys planning to do a sequel? The story begins with 2 different plot with a different timeline. It’s a flashback but in the same time, it is accompanied with a present story. It does get confusing earlier because i thought its about 2 mirrors connecting each other and the ghost can travel through those mirror. Well, its not. For a second there i thought its just a rip off of Indonesian Horror Film, Kuntilanak. The story is about Kaylie’s family that being haunted by the mirror. Cliche as it can be, the family moving to a new neighborhood in a suburb area (place is not mentioned though) and ready to start a new life. Kaylie’s parents, Alan and Marie were busy to set their new home and life together.

Kaylie and Tim in the flashback version
Kaylie and Tim in the flashback version
Kaylie and Tim in the present version
Kaylie and Tim in the present version

The ghost appeared in a short time earlier but still everybody gasp in the cinema. The disturbance started when Alan purchased an antique mirror and put it in his office. The evil force started showing the signs that they are currently residing in the house. The plants started wilting, their family’s pet is weak and inactive in a past few weeks and both Kaylie and Tim see a girl walking in the stairs and in the office particularly. At first, Marie suspected Alan for his infidelity due to a girl that the kids seen in the office. By the time she realized the mirror is the root for what had happened to the family, it was too late. She was already possessed and tried to kill her kids. Alan managed to arrive home and caught his wife trying to brutalize the kids. He successfully in making her fainted for a moment and try to call 911 for help. Its too bad that the spirit got into him too and he was in a trance. Controlled by the spirit, Alan chained and locked Marie in the bedroom and told his kids not to go near the bedroom for a while because their mother is sick.

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The Possessed Mom

Kaylie being an older sister try to protect his bother at all cost. She called many psychiatrists to ask for help only to be dismissed by them. For me Kaylie is a smart girl in the story. She detected that something is wrong when she tried to call for help. Although they used a different number, the same voice will answer the call. Knowing that she cannot sit still without trying everything, she went to her neighbor. Her neighbor did come to meet her father but her father assured the neighbor that nothing really happened and it’s just a teenager girl acting out. Kaylie was scared for her life and his brother. That night, her father decided to release her possessed mother from chain. The horror began when her mother chased them off and try to strangle kaylie to dead. She cried and called for her mother helplessly to stop it. At that moment, her mother suddenly loosened her strangulation and aware that it was her daughter she tried to kill. Her father then shot her mother three times.

M301 (Left to right.) Kate Siegel,  Rory Cochrane, Bob Gebert and Justin Gordon star in Relativity Media's OCULUS.  Photo Credit: John Estes ©2013 Lasser Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
When Kaylie’s father shot her mother thrice.

Kaylie pulled tim away and tried to smash the mirror with a golf putter together with her brother. The antique mirror is capable of protecting itself. They hit it with so many times but failed to cause any crack on that mirror. In fact, they realized that they were hitting the wall but not the mirror. Their father then came into the office and try to strangle kaylie for trying to break the mirror. Tim then hit his father and managed to take the pistol away. Alan then knelt infront of Tim and asked Tim to pull the trigger. What kind of kid around Tim’s age would kill his father? Alan take the gun that held by Tim aimed it right at him and shot himself. Alan died immediately. After this happened,all of you can guess what will happened next? The police and the ambulance will be arriving at the scene. Tim was sent to a mental hospital for evaluation and submission there and Kaylie is being submitted in the foster care after the tragedy.

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The glowing eyed ghost

This is the first plot they featured in a timeline that taken place during their childhood. The second plot featured in the film is when Kaylie and Tim had grown up. Tim already moved on and wanted to let of this past. His treatment indicated that all that tim encountered are part of his brain trick and it is not real. Kaylie, however, is obsessed and she had been tracking the mirror and found it. She purchased it and wanted to find the truth about the mirror. She asked tim to help her. Tim refused to do so at first but relent to his sister seeing that she could not move on.They both were back in their old house and placed the mirror at the original place. Kaylie sets up everything that she needed to prove that she is not crazy and there is some apparition that stays in the mirror. The camera, the clock, the plant and even the equipment to destroy the mirror if anything were happened to them. This is where the thrilling and mindfucking event occurred.

I am not going to spoil this film any further, it was good in entirety but the ending is going to ruin your mood. I wanted to give 4 for the flawless silver-eyed ghosts in the film but i am sticking to 3.5. Overall, the film is scary but not ‘that scary’. Oh before i forgot, there is one favorite moment i would like to feature in this review.

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When Kaylie thought she bite the lamp glass (not apple) and her mouth got all bloody, that was awesome but gruesome at the same time. The mirror tricked her into thinking that she did chew the lamp glass. When Tim called her name, she suddenly realized that she still biting the apple.

Prepare to be scared.

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

The post title obviously for you guys ;P

INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2

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My Gibberish Opinion: The Conjuring may fail to impress me but I somehow felt satisfied with Insidious Chapter 2. People said sequel film will end up in the dumpster but hey, I beg to differ. The continuation of insidious chapter 2 began when Elise found dead and Josh has been possessed by Parker ghost. The chill runs through your nerve when you know that there is no way josh returned safely from the further. The plot continued as Renai, Josh’s wife experienced the disturbances like creepy voices echoed through baby monitor and the lady ghost roaming inside her house. I will not going on about the rest of the story because anyhow, you have to watch the story yourself. This film still gives me a good scare though while watching it, I am encountering some people who never been to cinema before. It is freaking annoying, I feel like I want to slap each one of them but I remain civilized. Elise, the spiritual guide who died in insidious chapter 1 appears in several scenes as she helped josh and her crew to investigate what really happens to parker ghost and try to send him back to ‘The Further’.

Memorable Scene: When the psychotic lady ghost attack Renai at living room, that scene made me swear like 100th times.

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My Rating: 3.5/5 (I am not going to lie, I like insidious better. However, the sequel of the film is not all bad and James Wan did twisting the film in certain manners and be true to the storyline).

RIGOR MORTIS

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My gibberish opinion: This film is bizarrely beautiful and eerily artful. To be honest, i never liked Hong Kong’s Horror Films. They are not scary enough for me. Rigor Mortis strike as a different kind of horror film. Yes, all Asian films has long-haired lady ghost and wore white clothe but Rigor Mortis stays in its element. There are vampire hunter, black magic shaman, creepy Chinese ghost, the evil twins’ spirits and the disturbing kid ghost that sitting in the corner with mutilated face. The plot begins when the retired film star rented the cursed room number 2442. He originally did not want to live there for a long time as he planned to kill himself in that room right after settling down his things. However, he was being saved by the fellow resident who had a 6th sense. However, since the attempt of suicide by the man took place, the environment of the flat turned sinister. What I liked about the film: it has more than 1 ghost, it exhibits the reasons why such dark creatures existed and the veteran casts in this film really excel in their acting.

Memorable Scene: When the retired vampire hunter and the black magic shaman fighting and capturing the evil twin spirits.

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My Rating: 3/5 (it’s a different kind of horror film, there are some memorable scary scenes but it didn’t give me nightmare).